Being there for your child during times of distress is essential to ensuring his or her health and well-being. During a crisis, you may be struggling to find effective ways of communicating the reality of the virus and its effects to your child, and he or she may be experiencing feelings of confusion and worry as the world adapts to these new and frightening changes.
The first step to making sure you and your child remain stable and successful during this period is to stay calm. Below are ways you can support your child during the COVID-19 crisis.
Emphasize the Importance of Practicing Healthy Habits
The first step in protecting your child is ensuring he or she knows how to be sanitary. Handwashing isn’t optional – in fact, it’s one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Practice washing hands with your child. While it may seem like a self-explanatory practice, once children have been aware of for most of their lives, it’s important to be thorough. Clean for at least 20 seconds, and make sure your child is cleaning underneath the nails, in between the fingers, and around the wrists.
Be an Active Participant in Your Child’s Distance Learning
Be a constant source of support for your child as he or she adapts to the transition from a traditional classroom to an online learning environment. Set a work schedule for your child and work together to establish plans for prioritizing tasks. If your child is younger, be engaging by planning creative and fun activities that you can do together, such as coloring, building a puzzle, or playing an educational game supported by a website or app.
Be Direct, Honest, and Open with Your Child about the Coronavirus and Its Effects
Clear and open communication with your child is a crucial element in supporting his or her life and learning away from school. Children suffer more in darkness, and it’s vital that you serve as a source of information that your child can trust. Make an effort to communicate the facts to your child in a way that’s age-appropriate, and don’t be afraid of the questions your child may ask. Ensure your child understands that COVID-19 poses a low threat to young, healthy people. Also, let your child know that there are simple ways to help, such as washing hands, avoiding contact with the face, and covering the mouth when coughing.
Be There for Your Child Emotionally
During this period, your child may be feeling isolated – after all, it may be his or her first time being away from close adults and friends for an indefinite period of time. Speak with your child often, and emphasize the fact that he or she always has you to lean on for moments of support, kindness, and, most importantly, love. Make sure your child knows that you’re his or her number one fan!